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Public mental health and anthropology: An ecological approach 

Public mental health and anthropology: An ecological approach
Public mental health and anthropology: An ecological approach

Joshua Moses

, and Rob Whitley

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date: 26 January 2022

This chapter charts the contributions of anthropology to public mental health. It examines three main traditions in anthropological practice: (i) individual-level approaches, investigating mental health beliefs, behaviours, and illness narratives; (ii) meso-level approaches, assessing the provision, nature, and practice of mental health care systems; and (iii) macro-level approaches, examining the mental health impact of societal structures, including political and economic structures. It emphasizes the importance of moving among different levels of analysis. The chapter also provides case study material on suicide in the Arctic. The chapter concludes by discussing climate change and other emerging public mental health challenges, suggesting a multi-scale, interdisciplinary ecological approach.

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